Sunday, 02 October 2016 18:57

Police take to sky against rural crime

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Police take to sky against rural crime

POLICE have launched a new operation aimed to tackle rural crime – including using drones to catch criminals.

Dubbed Operation Buzzard, the initiative will coordinate all rural crime related operations in the county.

These operations will make best use of all the specialist teams and help ensure the force is in the best position to tackle a range of rural crime offences.

The launch took place at Cherry Tree Orchard farm in Orsett.

Thurrock Rural Community Policing Team joined forcesd with their special constable and wildlife officer colleagues to discuss issues affecting rural areas.

    See also: Police app combats rural crime

The event brought together police officers who shared ideas on what can be done to increase awareness of and help prevent rural crime.

Sergeant Aaron Connolly of the Essex Police Drone Team, demonstrated how the force drone could be used to gather intelligence about criminals.

It could help bring to justice offenders who were persistently committing crime in the countryside.

Rural and heritage crime officer Pc Andy Long drew upon his experience of working with the rural community, highlighting different types of rural crime, including farm machinery and equipment theft.

PC Long said: "Operation Buzzard gives us the opportunity to develop our response to rural crime with the assistance of new technologies such as the force drone."

Operated by trained professionals, the unmanned aerial vehicle could help police gather evidence to crack down on offenders, he added.

Representatives from the environment agency and Angling Trust were on hand to talk about their work and the importance of working together to reduce rural crime in the region.

Often perceived as largely an urban or suburban county, much of Essex is in fact rural.

Crime includes theft of vehicles, livestock or fuel through to hare coursing, poaching and burglary.

It can be perpetrated by opportunist criminals or organised groups who travel the countryside specially targeting rural locations.

PC Long said: "We also need the support of local residents, farmers and rural businesses to act as our eyes and ears on the ground and report any suspicious activity."

Phone credit: Essex Police

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